The Role of Food Science and Technology in Navigating the Health Issues of Ultra-Processed Foods

Duane Mellor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Food processing is seen as a double-edged sword. It is argued to have helped to provide a stable and safe food supply to urbanised societies, however with NOVA definition of ultra-processed foods it has now been linked to disease. Food science and technology has arguably been a major contributor to both. These potential harms are not a deliberate act, they simply meet the legal and market obligations placed on food businesses to be successful. So how food science and technology be pivoted back to improve health needs exploration, which will need to be consider within other issues including sustainability. Additionally, the increasing demand for plant-based meat alternatives and the role of fortification along with sustainable packaging and logistics to either enhance the physical properties and nutritional value of foods alongside minimising the need to process to transport them from farm to plate are further challenges. Finally, it will be considered how our food system might be supported to go through its next scientific and technological revolution to deliver a food environment and supply that has its primary objective of supporting human and planetary health, but in a way that is economically successful for all members of society.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Food Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Authors. International Journal of Food Science & Technology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Institute of Food Science & Technology (IJFST). This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Food policy
  • food processing aspects
  • food system
  • food use
  • ultra-processed food


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